Wound or Heal and Benefit – Choices

Thank you for visiting my blog today, today my thoughts probably fall into my category “Thinking Out Loud”.

I gave a speech last week called “Foot In Mouth” at my Toastmaster Club. It was all about “accidental humor’ – the type where you speak without thinking and there is a hilarious result.

There is a saying “I only open my mouth to change my feet” but I doubt any of my wise readers have ever felt like that. ♥

Today my topic is choices again, but when we speak. I know too well how easy it is to speak without thinking, in a reactive way, and accidentally wound, aka verbal stab. When the words are out, and spoken then it is too late.

Then it takes a minimum of five positive encounters to salve the one negative encounter.

According to the work of John Gottman and Robert Levenson, who closely studied the effects of negativity with couples, the suggested ratio is 5:1, meaning that for every negative encounter, there should be a minimum of five positive ones to counterbalance the effects of the first.



An inspiring and educational story is below my photos !

Thomas Alva Edison

– famous man, over a 1000 patents and credited with the invention of the incandescent bulb. All that you undoubtedly knew but the rest of the story is even more interesting.

Link here for his biography

Did you know:

  • Thomas was not a good student, he attended school for merely twelve weeks. He was hyperactive, prone to distraction.

The story is told that one day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said, “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”

Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child: “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.”

Thomas Edison’s mother was his teacher at home from that day forward.

Many years after Edison’s mother had died, he became one of the greatest inventors of the century.

When Edison later in life was going through a closet he found the folded letter from his old teacher. He opened it and found that the true message written on the letter: “Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled.”

( The truth was that Thomas’s mother had ignored the description of her son as “addled” and “mentally deficient”. She didn’t weigh him down with the teacher’s words and instead she was constantly kind, she praised him and she encouraged him.)

Edison then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into the genius of the century.

(credit to https://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Thomas-Edisons-Mother-The-Power-of-Words.html)


The power of words is amazing. Create, encourage, inspire are in our words. How important it is that I remind myself to not react but respond carefully instead.

In fact that saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is even applicable in my opinion.

I know I have shared this video before, but if you haven’t seen it – I hope you will take the opportunity today. ♥♥- David

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
This entry was posted in Thinking Out loud, Toastmasters and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Wound or Heal and Benefit – Choices

  1. Bob Smith says:

    Hope you are staying safe. Looks like changes to the planet are happening faster than anticipated

    Sent from Mail for Windows


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Hi Bob. Strange times eh? The disaster in valley and mountains is effecting us here but not life and death, no one will starve either. The ongoing effects I think will agree will be felt for a few years though. I trust you are doing well and my sincere best regards as always. – David


  2. the love of a mother can create miracles!
    Also,the lack of a mothers love can create monsters! Like “Son of Sam”!


  3. pkadams says:

    At least I have on thing in common with Edison: prone to distraction. LOL! Lovely photos.


  4. lghiggins says:

    Words are important. Good teachers are important. Edison’s mother was wise. This is a powerful post. Thank you especially for sharing that story. It reaffirms many of my beliefs as a retired teacher. Your pictures today are outstanding. You have a good eye for photography.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      thanks Linda. I still remember many of my teachers. Mr Miller was my grade 6 teacher at Vancouver Technical School, he taught algebra. Liked him. I am confident that you were a positive influence and are well remembered. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful story about how what a parent says to a child has such significance! Edison’s mother was also a genius – in raising a child to be all that he/she can be.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I totally agree. Maybe no one more than a parent. But what I say, and what you say is significant also. I learned that when a past camper (I was a summer camp counselor) spoke to me years later. He repeated what I had told him and thanked me. I think we all have people listening to us.


  6. HI David,
    Another great post.
    I have gotten better with age, but I often say what comes to mind. I used to blame it on being too honest, but I realized that just because it is true, it doesn’t mean that it has to be said.
    I love the story about Thomas Edison and the video!!
    Thank you for inspiring! Blessings! ♥♥


  7. That’s such a great story of Edison and his mother. It reminds me of Maya Angelou’s mother who told her she was in the same category as Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (civil rights activist). And to think that we all have the power to transform lives with our words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. debscarey says:

    David, this is such a powerful & positive post to read. I was once part of a counselling support group where a disruptive member asked each & every one of us to consider a question for the following week: why didn’t people like her? I didn’t like her and was increasingly angry and frustrated that she took up all my mental energy that week thinking how I could answer her question in a manner that was constructive. The visibly positive impact of what I said as a result of that time & effort taught me a valuable lesson I’ve never forgotten. And what a great video – thank you, I’ll be adding it to my bank of coaching tools.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Dear Deb. Your earnest comment today was deeply appreciated. I am also glad you enjoyed the youtube speech, I know that that educational and entertaining speech is a special one. Little things frustrate me unless I really examine them and then I put them aside temporarily until I put them aside again and again. Spock would say something about human and emotions I suppose. LOL


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